~Mount Whitney Article

**If you dream of this but wonder if it is too late or beyond your capabilities, take it from this misfit, it is doable. See this additional article and get the low-down.  🙂

Here’s How You Do It:

First GET YOUR PERMIT and, to be safe, check the link in January but the mail in lottery happens in February with requests postmarked February. Lottery begins being processed Feb. 15th. Yes, you can get same day cancellations but this is dicey if you’ve incurred the expense of traveling to the mountain. Don’t even try to climb without a permit, the fine is close to $200 per person and you will be turned back down the mountain.  There are rangers enforcing this.

Flying in? About 3-4 hours from Los Angeles International, 3 hours from Burbank.

Reserve your campsites in advance or, and this is pretty incredible, camp without reservations and for free in the Alabama Hills, at the base of Whitney. See links below as the decision on where to camp here offers a few options.

Destination Camping? Check our article.

~Location: 15 miles east of Lone Pine, CA. You simply take Whitney Portal road off of highway #395, until it dead-ends in the Mount Whitney parking lot.

~Ranger Station: Interagency Visitor’s Center P.O. Box 8; Lone Pine, CA 93545  Phone # 760-876-6200

*Just south of Lone Pine, right off of highway #395. East side of #395.

 ~Nearest Town and Amenities: Lone Pine, CA is big enough to have a McDonalds and small enough to walk the entire length in 10 minutes. There are a number of mountain climbing/ hiking shops as well as several motels and a hostel. We’ve stayed at and can recommend the Dow Villa Motel and we’ve heard good things about the Whitney Portal Hostel. The hostel offers $5 showers for non-guests.

*Note that at the Whitney trail-head, the Mount Whitney Portal Store rocks some pancakes for breakfast and hamburgers for lunch and dinner that will blow your mind. The Texas size pancakes are worth the drive up even if you don’t hike.

~Campgrounds: Whitney Portal and Lone Pine Campgrounds,  YES you will need reservations HOWEVER, there are alternatives within 10 miles that are $5 and/or FREE and you DO NOT NEED RESERVATIONS! These are /first come, first serve. Tuttle Creek ($5 per night) and beautiful.

Alabama Hills (dispersed/free). Take Whitney Portal east and make a right on Movie Road and you are there.

*Fires? Depends, always check either in advance or stop in at the ranger station for sites without posted fire updates and installed fire rings at the sites. *YOU MUST get a fire permit if you are camping dispersed. Permits are free and available at the Visitor’s Center.

~Warnings: Follow the rules regarding bears. Always check on amenities at campgrounds, as some do not have potable water. Dispersed camping is primitive so haul it in.

~Permits: YES you need a permit! For going into the Whitney zone. You can day hike, with no permit to Lone Pine Lake (on the Whitney trailhead) and about 5 miles round trip.

Peak Season: June-Sept.

~Weather: Always check.

~Suggestions: Acclimatize at Horseshoe Meadows (10,000 feet)

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